Courtney Pieters, 3

Western Cape police have confirmed that a 40-year-old suspect was arrested on Sunday night in the Elsies River, one street away from the girl’s Pluto Street home.

SAPS spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “Investigators who worked around the clock to ensure that the perpetrator who is responsible for the death of Courtney, whose body was found on Saturday afternoon in Bofors Circle, Epping Industria, led to the arrest of a suspect last night.

“The 40-year-old suspect was arrested at Saturn Close, Salberau, Elsies River, and once he has been charged, he is expected to appear in Goodwood Magistrates’ Court on a charge of murder.

“Crimes against women and children are a top priority for the Western Cape Police and we will pursue every avenue to apprehend offenders.”

Courtney’s body was found on a field, hidden under branches, by a search party on Saturday at 1.30pm.

The child had been missing for nine days.